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Pool Maintenance and the Environment

More and more, people are concerned with the environment when it comes to every aspect of their lives. In the City of Toronto, Swimming Pool guidelines updated a few years ago affect your pool’s weekly maintenance along with season opening and closing.

Specifically, the City of Toronto has set strict guidelines for the chemical readings of the water that you may discard on city streets or in storm sewers.  Those “guidelines” do carry a bite – pool owners may be fined if the water they discharge onto the street doesn’t comply with the maximum reading guidelines.

How this affects you will depend on your pool and the systems you’re using.

If you use chlorine:

  • At opening, the water on a regular pool cover can be pumped out to the street since it’s chemical free
  • If you use a safety cover, we will have to test the chlorine level of the water and use de-chlorination tablets if necessary before we pump it out
  • At closing, we’ll also use use de-chlorination equipment which neutralizes the water so we can dispose of it
  • In terms of weekly maintenance, if your backwash goes to the storm sewer, you will also have to use a filter and install a de-chlorinator

If you have a salt pool:

  • With a regular cover, we can pump the water onto the street
  • For closing or your weekly backwash, the city won’t accept this water into storm sewers and there’s no way to desalinate

Obviously this last point raises a key issue.  How do you close your pool or do a simple weekly backwash?


  • Hook up your backwash line to the sanitary sewer – although this can be expensive and tricky
  • Lower your water level with a small submersible pump and send the water to a laundry sink or sanitary line – this can be slower and may be cumbersome, but it’s safe
  • If you can’t access a sanitary drain line, in terms of your regular backwash, replacing your sand filter with a cartridge filter system may be your only option

Cartridge filters are preferable under the new guidelines and for environmental reasons – you don’t need to backwash and will produce no wastewater. Problem solved. The water in your pool will also be cleaner since they filter finer than sand.

You’ll find theses and other tips that take the city’s guidelines into account in our Best Water Practices document.

Professional Pool Advice -Weekly Maintenance

At Bremner Pools, our experienced pool installers can offer advice on these or any other pool maintenance issues – or better yet, a weekly maintenance package that gives you peace of mind knowing your pool is being operated with best practices both for you and the environment – and the City of Toronto’s guidelines.

Contact Bremner Pool & Spa today for swimming pool service, swimming pool repairs, safety tips and maintenance, along with a range of products designed to help keep your family safe, including pool lighting, alarms, covers and more. Free Quotes Available.

About Bremner Pool & Spa:
Established in 1981, Bremner Pool & Spa is one of the premiere swimming pool service companies in Toronto, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Durham Region. We operate 11 state-of-the art vehicles and offer a variety of high quality and eco-friendly products & services including swimming pool repair, openings, partial swimming pool openings, swimming pool closings, weekly pool and spa service, pool leak detection & repair, heaters, liners, pumps and more. As well, Bremner Pool & Spa complies with all City of Toronto By Laws for Pools, Hot Tubs and Spas.

Swimming pool services including openings, renovations, installations and maintenance throughout Toronto and the GTA including Ajax, Durham, East York, Forest Hill, Markham, North York, Oshawa, Pickering, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Thornhill, Unionville, Vaughan and Whitby, Ontario.